Today: Monday, December 09, 2019

Caravan of Dreams    (7/22/2007 )

We’re new to this. We’ve never owned a caravan, never wanted a caravan, and therefore never packed a caravan. Last year, though, some of the more renegade of God’s creatures decided to set fire to our trusty and much-loved trailer-tent as it rested in our garden, and so we had to look around for something else to accommodate us if we were to take the kids on holiday. So now we have a caravan (and it will happen to you, one day).

What gets me is how long it takes to pack a caravan when you have never packed one before. It seemed that I had nabbed a prime spot for a few tins of beer, some clean undies, some spanners, a couple of screwdrivers and some pliers (you always need pliers). I had even remembered to stick a sign on the back window saying ‘sorry’ to all other motorists.

And just when I thought the job was done, my wife started coming out of the house. I am amazed there is room in the house for all the stuff she brought out; where am I supposed to put it in a towable white box?

We knew what we were doing with the tent, but the caravan is a journey of discovery. Not one we want to be making a couple of hours before we set off. We are trying to work out what we need to have with us, and where it fits in.

As I was packing coats around the fresh fruit (“we don’t want it all bruised, now, do we?”), I found myself reminded of conversations that I regularly have with people of all ages and backgrounds, who have suddenly realised that life, too, is bigger than they thought. They want to fill that big life up with ‘more’—but what’s essential, and what can be left behind… and how does it all fit together? Should they cram as much in as possible, or is simplicity better? Is there a secret to all of this?

The apostle Paul visited Athens and was amazed at how they tried to worship every god they could find. They saw it as a sort of insurance policy, and tried to cram everything religious into their lives. Acts (OT) chapter 17 says that they even had an altar to ‘an unknown god’, just in case they’d left one out!

Paul told them that this ‘unknown god’ is actually the key to it all. It is in him that we 'live and move and have our being'. He was talking of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, known through Jesus. If you get him into the proper place in your life, then everything else falls into place. We don’t have to cram everything in, we just have to get the essentials right—then everything else follows. Jesus talked about following him being like laying a solid foundation upon which everything else can rest secure.

What about you? Are you a ‘crammer’? Are you hedging your bets? Are you surviving on a bare minimum? Or have you found the secret to life?

Think about:

  • Is there anything cluttering up your life that shouldn't really be there - something that demands too much time away from your relationships, for example?
  • Or do you feel as though your life is smaller than it could or should be - and that there's something missing that could make life complete?
  • Do you feel sure of what you believe - or are you hedging your bets, too? Can you see any dangers in doing that?
  • Are there any things in your life which, without your realising it, are becoming your 'gods' and getting all your focus and commitment? Maybe an obssession with a sport, partying, or your work?

Challenge: Think carefully about where you put your priorities. By this time next week, try to have thought of two priorities you want to move UP in importance in your life, and two that you'd like to move DOWN. Then think of some ways in which you can put those decisions into practice.

Smile: Watch the video clip I'm a Christ Follower - no need to clutter up your life with 'religiosity'

Watch the video clip Currency: How Much Is Our Life Worth?

Watch the video clip Broken Vessels (lives can be messy; there's a way to simplify them and get them, cleaned up at the same time.

Read the book Traveling Light by Max Lucado

Read the book God's Little Book of Calm by Richard Daly


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